First, we, as Portland voters, elected to have a mayor with no actual responsibilities, other than being another City Council member and city cheerleader.

I tried going online to figure out the mayor’s actual responsibilities that aid in moving our city forward and improving the lives of its citizens. I couldn’t find them. We are paying this council member over $71,000.

Then we decided to give this position a special assistant to help him attain the goals of his job description (?). We pay the special assistant over $47,000.

Now the mayor wants a raise and vehicle stipend. In the meantime, my real estate taxes go up every year by a few hundred dollars. In addition, the city has added a stormwater runoff tax.

When the issue of a mayor first came up, I thought it would be nice to have one who ran the city and was accountable to the voters. If the mayor ran the city well, we would re-elect him or her. Having a paid mayor, with no actual power or responsibilities, seemed like a waste of time and money.

Now the person in that position has an assistant and wants more money. This is not a knock on our current mayor (Ethan Strimling), because I believe this is what government does: It grows and it spends more. When will we Portlanders wake up to this waste and put a stop to it?

David Elowitch

Portland